PORT CLINTON- Port Clinton Police have canceled a statewide missing child alert after they believe they have found the body of a missing 14-year-old boy in an abandoned home.
The Ohio Attorney General’s Office of Dave Yost canceled a search for the teen early Tuesday, stating only that the child had “been recovered.”
In a news conference Tuesday, Port Clinton Police Chief Rob Hickman said Harley Dilly’s death was accidental and foul play does not appear to be a factor.
Hickman said it appeared Dilly was climbing up an antenna, slipped off and into a chimney and was stuck.
An autopsy is currently being conducted on Dilly’s body.
“It’s not the outcome we wanted,” Hickman said. “I promised myself not to break down today.”
Dilly was last seen Dec. 20 while walking to school and gained statewide attention when a missing child endangerment alert was issued. Since Dilly’s disappearance, flyers were made and posted across the state and country. Dilly’s disappearance gained national media attention on “Good Morning America” and “LIVE PD.” A reward for information on his whereabouts surpassed $20,000.
Hickman stated police and investigators found Dilly after they wanted to search the area again. The abandoned home that Dilly’s body was located in was across the street from his home.
Police checked the abandoned home multiple times Hickman said, but since there was no sign of forced entry, windows were locked and double-locked, there was not a reason to believe anyone was inside.
Yost later released a statement about Dilly’s death.
“We are heartbroken over the outcome, but know every effort was made to find Harley. Chief Hickman shouldered the weight of this investigation, which has resulted in a tragic loss for the community of Port Clinton. No case is tougher than when a kid goes missing.”
Reach: Adam Black (740) 353-3101 Extension 1927
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